JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2022: Stefano Travaglini and Achille Succi-Book of Innocence

Stefano Travaglini & Achille Succi-Book of Innocence

“With their new recording, Book of Innocence, Stefano Travaglini and Achille Succi have released an inspired recording and it is something quite beyond convention.
Stefano came to my attention in 2017 with his extraordinarily wide-ranging solo album Ellipse (Notami Jazz, 2017), his first leader recording. Another outstanding solo outing came in 2020 with Monk – Fifteen Piano Reflections (Notami Jazz). A multi-instrumentalist and composer, Stefano’s primary focus, on his recordings, is the piano. He won first prize at the International Piano Competition for Composers “G. Canciani” and Book of Innocence is Stefano’s fifth album as a leader or co-leader. As on two of his previous releases, The Hungarian Songbook (Terre Sommerse, 2013), and The Long Line (Odradek Records, 2019), Book of Innocence is a duo recording with fellow Italian, Achille Succi. He is a multiple award-winning musician, principally self-taught, on alto, and bass clarinet. Achille has performed with Louis Sclavis, Ab Baars and Ernst Rejiseger, among others.

Stefano Travaglini & Achille Succi- Bauci

Piano/clarinet duos are rare but the Travaglini-Succi duo presents a captivating interchange, based on visual arts, literature, and a myriad of further stimuli. The album opens with “Rothko”, inspired by the Russian-born abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. The artist has been celebrated in music before; most notably with Morton Feldman’s chamber work, “Rothko Chapel” and the dark alternative rock of Peter Gabriel in “Fourteen Black Paintings”. In its context, the Book of Innocence tribute is truer to Rothko’s artistic vision with its surreal churning of direction and timbre.

“Bauci” takes its inspiration from the novel “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino. The musical piece more than does justice to the fanciful tale that ponders on notions of recollection and place. Achille, here on bass clarinet, plays a beautiful, unassuming melody over the intricate harmony of the piano. “Silent Moon” and “Turning Tables” each exude a nocturnal serenity without limiting the possibilities of their individual instruments as Stefano and Achille switch places at the forefront. In these pieces, the duo excels in a creative interaction that is both fragile and impervious.

Pat Metheny’s “Travels” is the single cover on an album of Travaglini compositions and improvisations. The duo gives us an inspiring and imaginative take on the guitarist’s 1983 original, retaining Metheny’s evocative feeling while immersing themselves in their heartfelt version of the piece. On “Blues for Days to Come”, the lead is given over to Achille while Stefano supplies circular rhythm. As the piece progresses, Achille’s playing opens up and his excellent improvising puts the “blues” in a more modern context.

Book of Innocence closes with the extended title track, bringing the album to a thematic full circle. “Book of Innocence” has something of a spiritual connection to Henri Matisse’s The Red Studio. That 1911 creation by the French artist was less than universally embraced initially, but went on to influence other great artists including Rothko. It is a survey of some of the artist’s work consisting of paintings sculptures, and ceramics, within a single painting. With great resourcefulness, Stefano and Achille incorporate six of the pianist’s shorter compositions into a single unified grouping. The transition is almost seamless and the music is, by turns, poignant, cerebral, or reflective.

It is no surprise that Book of Innocence finds inspiration, in part, from the works of masters of the visual arts. Stefano and Achille paint vivid pictures with their music establishing a meeting ground for diverse artistic expressions. The duo plunges themselves into the full extent of their imaginations; their playing is neither predictable nor pretentious and not a note is wasted.

The Museum of Modern Art describes the centerpiece of Matisse’s The Red Studio as a grandfather clock with no hands. They suggest that the visual work exists in an environment where time is put on hold. It can be said that this exceptional work of art, Book of Innocence, lies in a similar place. These two virtuoso musicians have given us a collection that warrants repeated and complete attention. It is an exceptionally rewarding listening experience.”

Karl Ackermann All About Jazz.

Recorded, mixed and mastered at Studio Sequenza (Paris)
sound engineer, Thomas Vingtrinier

Cover art “Tactile memory 144” by Natasha Zupan

Photo & video by Vicente Ocho

website

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2022

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2022 : Roberto Magris Duo & Trio Featuring Mark Colby

Roberto Magris Duo & Trio 2022

Roberto Magris(Italy)-Cool World
Composer: Roberto Magris
Album: Roberto Magris Duo & Trio Featuring Mark Colby
Label: JMood Records
Roberto Magris at JMood Records

Italian pianist Roberto Magris has developed his career in synergy with the best of American jazz, the proof is his work of great diversity and inventiveness where experimentation has always played an important role. His collaborations with American jazz personalities have proved to be not only inspiring but also a basis for a creative dialogue that has made its mark on all the albums he has released, his latest album is one of them.

Roberto Magris Duo & Trio brings to the fore the collaboration with late saxophonist Mark Colby present on six of the album’s eleven tracks. It is worth mentioning that the two musicians played together on “Sun Stone” released in 2019.

The other songs are performed by Magris accompanied by a trio with whom the pianist has collaborated many times in the past: Elisa Pruett, bass, acoustic, Brian Steever, drums, Pablo Sanhueza, congas.

Right from the first composition, the mastery of the two performers is evident and the balance of forces is remarkable. We listen to two musicians at the height of their creative powers combining their personalities with a naturalness of great finesse.

The trio gives us superb versions of familiar standards, each filtered through the creative mastery of the pianist.
The album contains four originals in which Magris’s compositional mastery is complimented by Colby’s clear, soulful phrasing.

Considering that Colby passed away two years ago, this album is a historic recording, and here we have to thank both Roberto Magris and his friend Paul Colins at JMood records for giving us the opportunity to listen to such a collection of jazz gems.

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2022

World Music Mix: Jacopo Ferrazza Quintet(Italy) Album: Fantàsia

After his solo experience in ‘Wood Tales’ (published on Feb. 2021) Jacopo Ferrazza comes back as a band leader, guiding a quintet with two very special guests, Fabrizio Bosso (trumpet) and Marcello Allulli (sax).
A dreamlike world emerges from Ferrazza’s compositions and is outlined by the right balance between modern jazz, chamber music and electronic music.

Jacopo Ferrazza Quintet – Fantasia

The nine tracks of ‘Fantàsia’ follow a narrative that resembles a sequence of disjoined dreams appearing in an unorderly fashion nonetheless composing a greater holistic story.
As the music unfolds, introspective lyrics written by Ferrazza himself describe the thoughts of a WWII soldier, briefly before his death during the Normandy landings (La Course), as well as Siddharta’s concept of the cyclicality of time (River Theatre) and again the surreal tail of a time-travel vortex (Blue Glow).
Interstellar voyages, synesthetic worlds and the theme of afterlife are also part of ‘Fantàsia’, the latter being a topic very dear to Jacopo Ferrazza, especially after his record ‘Rebirth’ (Cam Jazz 2017).

Starting from his approach to the acoustic sound of the double bass, the Italian musician develops an accurate overall aesthetic to his compositions through electronics and pianist Enrico Zanisi contributes greatly to this intent thanks to his extensive use of synths, becoming a fundamental element to creating a precise setting in each track.
The album becomes an intentional screenplay where each element has its specific role, for example Valerio Vantaggio’s drums hold the music’s emotional pulse. Alessandra Diodati, here in her first recording experience, guides listeners through the different layers of the chronicle with her voice. And again Livia de Romanis’ cello represents the fire, a primordial force we find behind the most vivid nocturnal visions. The trumpet played Fabrizio Bosso incarnates an irruptive element which deconstructs all the rules of a well designed world, and last but not least, the Shorter-like tone of Marcello Allulli’s sax has a cathartic and celebrative role in the ending of the record.

The element that leads the musical narrative is Jacopo Ferrazza’s double bass, that always joins his music partners enhancing each role, underlining the different personality of the band’s members and pulling the whole architecture’s strings together.

‘Fantàsia’ is an album that witnesses the vital creativity of Ferrazza, which manifests itself also in his attitude to explore, especially those little shadows of our daily life, where we can find, if we look closely, a magical world waiting to be experienced.

Website CD Store

World Music Mix

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2021: Roberto Magris(Italy)-Match Point

Roberto Magris(Italy)-Match Point
Composer: Roberto Magris
Album: Roberto Magris-Match Point
Label: JMood Records

Roberto Magris(Italy)-Match Point


On Match Point, his latest album, Italian pianist and composer Roberto Magris gathered together a brilliant line-up of accomplished musicians: Alfredo Chacon – Vibraphone And Percussion, Dion Kerr – Bass, Rodolfo Zuniga – Drums on what can be described as a festival of rhythms and styles from bebop, to blues, and Latin.
His signature style and imaginative arrangements put a new spin on compositions by Richard Kermode, McCoy Tyner, Thelonious Monk and Randy Weston along with four originals that blend into the mix like a charm.
One of the special beauties of the album lies in the delicate balance and fusion between piano and vibraphone radiating a warm melodic atmosphere filled with generous spaces to improvise. 
Plenty of surprises, the album takes off with Yours is The Light, made famous by Santana on his Welcome album. Of course, there’s no guitar here, nevertheless, Roberto Magris takes it to new jazz heights while maintaining its Latin edge and beauty. It is a pity that Kermode died young; he would have been so proud to hear his composition wearing these new clothes. Searching for Peace is a 15-minute long rendition of McCoy Tyner’s ballad, an opportunity for subtle improvising and rhythm changes. The sunny Samba for Jade is another showcase of the virtuosic piano-vibes pair based on a memorable melodic theme signed by Magris. Magic Blues, is exactly what the title promises: blues made magic by a combination of extended solos of vibes and piano. On Thelonious Monk’s Reflections, the pianist takes the liberty to surprise us with an imaginative version that maintains a beautiful fluidity through the fast-changing harmonies. Caban Bamboo Highlife retains the festive mood and alert rhythms of the original piece, bringing forward the outstanding art of Rodolfo Zuniga. Without the horn section blowing on the original, the sound is smoother and graceful yet not losing its playfulness. Match Point the title track, another original, goes vibrant and swinging, the band is going over the top in a frenetic ride. To use just one keyword to describe this album: splendid! 
Roberto Magris @ JMood Records  

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2021

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2021 : Fabrizio Savino Trio(Italy) – Album: The Rising Sun

 From Saturday July 10th 2021, “The rising sun”, the new and fourth album by modern jazz guitarist Fabrizio Savino, is available on all streaming and download platforms including Apple Music.


The album is also physically distributed worldwide by Inner Urge Records through the website innerurgemusic.com, in Benelux by Xango Music and will soon be available also in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong through the Albore Jazz distributor.

Two weeks after its release, the album has over 80,000 plays only on the Spotify platform and has been selected by the editors and included in important playlists such as “State of Jazz”, “Jazz X- Press” and “All new Jazz”. The song “Rebirth” was selected and played, accompanied by a beautiful introduction to the album for the Anglo-Saxon audience, by presenter Chris Philips of the London radio station Jazz FM UK.


After the success of his previous production “Gemini” that has won many awards and was broadcasted by the most important worldwide radios (France, Norway, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, Finland, USA, Canada and Japan), Savino brings rock sounds through a deep contemporary jazz language. With “The rising sun” Savino explores many sonorities and composes music starting from an inner analysis. The main topic of the album is the “Rebirth”.


The musical journey it’s the transposition of inner energies through the music language and the spiritual research with the practice of meditation and yoga.
The songs of the album were composed over a period of one year and embrace many of the musical forms that have always fascinated the author who was able to translate them into the line-up that best represents him: the Guitar trio.
The modern jazz sound that distinguishes him is intertwined with the sounds that most influenced his adolescence, the rock of Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix.
“The Rising Sun” is a musical journey that mix of eleven tracks, two standards and nine original compositions one of which includes an arrangement for string quartet.

To complete the line-up there are the Italian double bass player Luca Alemanno and the German drummer Sebastian Merk, musicians with whom Savino has a particular musical, artistic and human affinity.

For the release of the album, the official videoclip was published on Youtube and on the Facebook and Instagram pages of the label and the artist.

It will soon be published a video animation, entirely hand made with the technique of ink on paper by the graphic designer Marika Mastrandrea of the MM Visual Communication Design Studio, for the song of the album with the string quartet “So close and yet so far “.

JazzWorldQuest Showcase 2021